The Iwama Tradition: Martial Arts Lineage in Union City
O’Sensei Morihei Ueshiba
December 14, 1883 - April 26, 1969
Morihei Ueshiba intensely studied various sword fighting and jujitsu styles. He became famous as a highly skilled martial artist and renowned for his strength, often referred to as the strongest man in Japan. He developed his own martial art, combining his incredible skills and experience, and millions have been fascinated with it ever since. In 1942, in the middle of World War II, O’Sensei named his new martial art AIKIDO. He moved to the small country town of Iwama where he continued to practice, teach, and refine Aikido until he passed away in 1969.
Morihiro Saito Shihan
March 31, 1928 - May 13, 2002
9th Dan Aikikai. An Iwama native, Morihiro Saito started training in Aikido in 1946 and became, not only a student, but a close friend of O-Sensei for 23 years. After the founder’s passing, Morihiro Saito Shihan was put in charge of the Iwama Dojo. He is known for his books, his clear and structured way of teaching, and the organization of the huge number of techniques and preservation of O-Sensei’s empty handed and weapons techniques that comprise IWAMA-RYU AIKIDO.
Hitohiro Saito Shihan
1955 - Present
Hitohiro Saito Shihan was born in Iwama, the son of the late Morihiro Saito Shihan Aikikai Shihan 9th Dan. Hitohiro Shihan was born into this great Aikido tradition and started training when he was seven under O'Sensei. He continued training under his father (Saito Shihan). Now, Hitohiro Shihan runs the dojo that he has founded, the Iwama Shin Shin Aiki Shurenkai.
Pat Hendricks Shihan
1956 - Present
7th Dan Aikikai. In 1975 Pat Hendricks started her Aikido career in Monterey, California. Since 1977 she has traveled frequently to Japan to study as a live-in student under Saito Shihan in Iwama. Her own dojo, Aikido of San Leandro, attracts students from all over the world, including Japan. Hendricks Shihan holds the highest degree in Aiki-Ken and Aiki-Jo Certification and is certified to test in the United States. Hendricks Shihan is one of Morihiro Saito Shihan’s top representatives in the world and assisted him in numerous demonstrations and translations around the world and in Japan.
Shugyo Aikido Dojo is located at 33511 Western Avenue, Union City, California 94587, and provides martial arts instruction in the Tri City area of Union City, Fremont, Newark, and Hayward.
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